Locate cars for free with GPS – does it even work?

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GPS systems are particularly reliable and increase the theft protection of vehicles . Once they are stolen, the owner rarely gets them back. It therefore makes sense to protect the car in advance to deter thieves. But GPS devices are considered expensive and often involve monthly fees . Which option is best for vehicle tracking always depends on the owner’s ideas.

Free vehicle tracking with an app

Several thousand cars are stolen in Germany every year, only a fraction are found and returned to the owner.

Car theft doesn’t just mean losing the car, reporting it to the police and insurance company also costs those affected a lot of time . Tracking devices as theft protection are a popular way to protect your car, but if you don’t want to invest a lot of money, you can also use an app .

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There are many such applications for Android and iOS , they can be purchased in the mobile phone’s Play Store, some of them are free.

Since modern cell phones have a GPS chip, they can be used for tracking. Most households have a lot of unused devices. An older cell phone can then be used as a tracking device; it must remain in the car for this purpose.

After the user has set up an appropriate account and connected the device, the cell phone can be placed in the car and can now be used like a tracking device. The user now has the opportunity to follow the exact route and determine their current location. The costs for such solutions are limited; only the transfer of the determined data via SMS has to be paid.

Location systems with no monthly costs

A tracker can also be used to locate the vehicle with GPS. Some systems work free of charge, only the required SIM card is charged. This is absolutely necessary so that the data can be sent to the end device.

The station can be used free of charge, the owner only has to pay for the purchase. In order to avoid monthly costs, these providers use advertising to finance the service.

Disadvantages of free tracking

If you want to use the advantages of a GPS tracker without having to worry about additional fees, you are clearly giving up on comfort. When using a smartphone with an app, it is important to note that this solution puts an extreme strain on the device’s battery; regular charging is absolutely necessary because a particularly large amount of energy is used.

The device must be hidden because a cell phone is considered a valuable item and can tempt thieves.

If you want to upgrade your car with a GPS tracker without additional costs, you have to expect advertising when using it. Some functions also cannot be applied. A paid upgrade is then offered here: Additional costs are then incurred per month and the user can expand the scope of use for a fee.

GPS tracker as a positioning system

paid GPS tracker offers the user many advantages and is easy to use . If you are unsure, you can get professional advice from specialist retailers .

When purchasing online, those interested can rely on the reports of other users to find the perfect device.

The purchase price varies depending on the model, but GPS trackers fundamentally differ in the type of connection; some are permanently connected to the vehicle’s power, others have an integrated battery and require regular charging.

These devices also require a SIM card. Depending on the application, a separate tariff may be cheaper, this must be checked before purchasing. The providers offer many functions that the user can set and always adapt in the tracker’s associated app .

If such an alarm is triggered, the user immediately receives this information on a mobile device and can take action. The calculated data and every route traveled are stored on the server. The provider charges a monthly fee for this service and the appropriate software , which is around five euros.

Within the app, the owner has a full overview of his vehicle and every movement , and the location can also be viewed at all times. The right app can not only be used on your cell phone, you can also optionally use your tablet or your own PC.

Features of GPS trackers

In addition to the tracking option, the user can also create, display and manage individual alarms in the app .

  • Live tracking not only allows you to query and determine the exact location, the position is updated at regular intervals and offers real-time tracking.
  • The radius alarm allows you to set a fixed radius; as soon as this is left, the user receives a message about this.
  • The shock alarm goes off when the tracker is moved or removed, which can already be an indication of theft.
  • Digital fences can be built using geofencing , making it easy to delimit certain zones. As soon as such a border is entered or left, the user receives a message and can locate the vehicle .
  • Each provider offers users route storage , which means that all determined data, waiting times and movements are stored in detail. This information can be accessed at any time.
  • When the low battery alarm goes off, it’s time to charge the device. This is the only way to ensure that vehicle tracking runs smoothly.

Ongoing costs and benefits

Due to their flexible use , GPS trackers offer many advantages for private individuals and companies; they can be attached to vehicles, trucks, bicycles or other valuables. If you don’t want to use it as an anti-theft device, you can use it as a navigation system in your car, for example; the GPS tracking option has also proven useful on hikes.

Protect your car reliably – tips and tricks

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In addition to monitoring and tracking via smartphone, car owners have to pay attention to other points in order to best protect the car from theft. The ideal solution is always a combination of different measures , so other options should be exploited in addition to monitoring.

The car should not be parked in busy areas; parking lots with many people are a better choice.

It is important that the car is always locked correctly; valuables have no place in the interior either; they attract thieves.

If you have the opportunity to park your vehicle in a garage , you should do so; locked garages are always an obstacle. Stolen goods become unattractive; if the robber has to spend a lot of time, the risk of being caught increases.

Every car has additional features that can be used to secure the car; the steering wheel lock should always be activated before leaving the vehicle. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also attach a parking claw to the car; this must then be removed before you continue your journey.

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